Whenever I ask a new client or some of my gym friends if they consume a healthy diet, sometimes they might answer:
“I eat pretty healthy..”
“I don’t really eat much junk food or unhealthy stuff..”
“I eat vegetables and fruits..”
“My diet is quite good..”
If you eat pretty healthy, why are you still overweight? If you make good nutrition habits, why are you constantly feeling tired and falling ill every now and then? Why do you have elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels?
The truth is that most people tend to give themselves the benefit of the doubt. For those who are trying to gain weight, they think that they are eating enough, but their weight is not going up. And those who are trying to lose weight, they think that they are eating much lesser, but the number on the weighing scale is not dropping.
Well, it’s just human nature. After all, who likes to admit that they are not doing a good job. And it’s always “Once in awhile is fine” or “A little bit is ok”. But most people have too much of once in awhile and a little bit.
Here’s why you are not losing weight:
1. You are simply eat too much food. While others have 3 meals a day, you are constantly munching on something. Food is your companion and every you go, food follows you. Food pictures dominate your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Your refrigerator is overflowing with food and drinks. Well, you are just never seen without food…
2. You are eating more carbs than you think you are. While carbs have their place and play an important role especially in post-workout nutrition and recovery, you need to earn your right to eat carbs. If you eat all those carbs without burning them off through exercise, guess what? Your body fat and weight goes up and before you know it, you have 6
3. You are eating way too much fats. Think fast food for example. Not only are most fast foods high in carbs, they are also high in fats (trans fats aka the bad fats). Truth be told, a lot of carbohydrate rich foods tend to be rich in fat content as well. Pastries and ice cream are just two examples. And you know what? A high carb and high fat intake is a BAD combo when it comes to losing weight and fat loss. Oh, while good fats are great for you, they are still calories in the end.
4. You are not eating enough vegetables and fruits. Based on the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines which recommends adults eat anywhere from 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day depending on age, gender, physical activity, and overall health, many people would not be getting enough!
5. You are not eating enough protein. Getting enough protein is incredibly important for health and body composition goals. If you are training for fat loss and/or building muscle, you are going to need a higher protein intake compared to the average sedentary person. When in doubt, having to choose between carbs, protein and fat, choose protein anytime!
6. You are eating too much junk. For example – 2 slices of starchy white bread filled with sugary jam and a cup of juice in the morning.. a handful of biscuits before lunch.. a can of soft drink and a plate of creamy pasta for lunch.. some candies or pastries later in the afternoon.. a carbohydrate rich dinner perhaps with some beer or another can of soft drink.. and sometimes, late night supper (woohoo, more carbs!) to end the day.
Sure, your day might not go exactly like that, but you get what I mean. And people tend to forget the little things they eat here and there that add up to a lot of calories. Some potato chips here, some Oreos there, some donuts here, some cake there.. BOOM! You have overshot your daily calorie intake.
So start being honest to yourself and admit that you need to make better nutrition choices. Because ultimately, the weighing scale and mirror do not lie.